tv Capital News Today CSPAN April 27, 2011 11:00pm-2:00am EDT
u.s. ambassador to libya says the opposition group known as the transitional national council as a political group, quote, worthy of the support of the united states. ambassador gene cretz briefed reporters on the latest military actions against forces in libya. this is 40 minutes. >> good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. >> i offer you greetings and hopes will go easier on the questions.
good afternoon, i'm here today to update you on our efforts in libya, the measure never special envoy to the tnt and to progress the international coalition has made in stopping the fertility and bloodshed of the regime. since the last time i spoke with you it has become clear that gadhafi have no intentions of seizing the violence and bloodshed despite the claims of the recent days the regime forces have continued to commit atrocities in misrata and the mountains. as the secretary said the united states condemns the gadhafi's continued brutal attacks on the libyan people could in violation of the resolution which calls for a call to the cost of such attacks on civilians and immediate cease-fire. the industry and shelling of the areas hasn't stopped. in the western mountains the pro regime troops have laid siege to the civilian populations apparently attempting to starve
them into submission. with that backdrop i'd like to update you on two fronts. in the past several weeks, they're have been several meetings including the contact group in doha, the ministerial in berlin and the cairo meeting of the a you irritably. these meetings have reaffirmed the result of the nations to work together to address the situation in libya. separately, chris stevens, our envoy has had open and frank discussions with many members of the body and the opposition of large. on the international from the first meeting of the contact group on libya was held in doha on april 13th. the contact group cannily from the meeting unified in its commitment to the set of core principles for the path for work in libya. first and foremost the regime has lost all legitimacy and must relinquish power leaving the libyan people free to determine their own future. gadhafi must also put a stop to
his attack on civilians and a pullback from the areas that have forced the forcibly entered. the participants also agreed the regime must comply with its obligations under the international including the real solution of water, electricity and gas supplies to all areas and unrestricted humanitarian access to libya. finally the participants reiterated a political solution would be the only way to bring lasting peace to libya and reaffirm the commitment the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity of libya. the day after the contact group meeting in doha, the secretary traveled to the nato ministerial meeting in berlin, assembled with the foreign minister of nato allies and the countries which are participating in operation unified protector. that meeting reinforced the coalition's endorsement of the principles set forth in doha and the coalition commitment to seeing those principals realized. the berlin meeting also resulted
in an agreement on a clear set of objectives for operation unified protector. specifically, the and to attack civilians, withdraw regime forces to the bases and unimpeded humanitarian access to all of libya. our special envoy to the trademark sea, chris stevens along with a small team of u.s. aid specialists arrived on april 5th. since that time, chris has met with a wide range of libyans most notably the political and military leadership of the opposition. among those with whom he has had discussions are the chair and tnc chief of staff. chris has assessed the tnc is a political body worthy of support. members of the envoy mission are also meeting with representatives of local organizations and civil society as an effort to get to know the
people of the opposition and on the ground. the team is working with international agencies to get a better picture of humanitarian needs and courtenay responses. the overall security situation in certain areas of leah affect the ability of the mission to reach areas and actors beyond benghazi. the president approved of $25 million for all done up to $25 million with commodities and services to be provided to the key partners in libya including the tnc. items that could be useful to further international efforts to protect civilians and civilian populated areas currently under threat by forces loyal to the gadhafi region and good medical command, vests and long secure radios and uniforms. with that i would be happy to answer any questions that you have.
>> if you're on foley has made a determination that the tnc is a political body that is worth our support, why not now deal with the issue of recognition and recognize them as a legitimate leader, leadership of the country? >> am talking about a body worthy of our support i think this goes back to the original statements the life made previously that at that time based on our contact with them from the start, based on the fact that we knew some of the mant based on their actions, not only their actions but the statements over the first two weeks of their existence we found them to be a credible body and one we need to know much better because this was a new situation. i think what chris has found, and i just spoke to him an hour ago he just met with him was to
reconfirm this was a serious group. the continued to sail right things and they are reaching out to the international community and to be as inclusive as possible and working for the bugs part of any stand of transitional government and politics of 40 years, so i think in terms of what he's found so far he would confirm or affirm our determination if there were a serious group of support now on the question of recognition, we continue to look at all the issues with respect to libya as i mentioned when i was here last time the president hasn't ruled of anything on all of those issues that we were looking at. recognition remains - as a legal
issue we are studying and we haven't made it definitive determination on that question but that hasn't stopped thus from doing everything we could to support tnc. so i don't see it as issue. it's an issue but it's not the main one we are dealing with right now. as i said, we -- there's a few country although there's a few i think plants i believe of officially recognized it and italy and they've done that for their own purposes but as far as i am concerned we haven't found that that has been any kind of a detriment to the kind of effort and support we can make to the position. >> i just want to know why you haven't done that, what is it that's holding that up given that some of your strongest allies and nato allies have taken that step which i think
you would agree is a powerful symbolic move. >> i don't know what would be, what are in fact the recognition itself would necessarily have that great an impact. i know that the tnc has called -- >> then why did you do it? >> it's a complicated issue and we are a very legalistic country and we are looking at all of the different complexities as it relates to the question. >> so why should infer that the united states is more legalistic and concerned? >> it's not just a question of -- it's not just the question of legalism is that we continue to look at this issue as we do with so many other issues related to libya and what is going on in the opposition, for example, frozen assets and things like that these are issues that were very, very complex and we need
to continue to look at. >> is it a question you decided they were worthy of your support but there is something that's holding them up like you're not sure that they should be -- they should be recognized as you want -- are you concerned there are other groups out there that might be rifles for the title of legitimate -- >> at this particular point, like i said, i don't think that it has prevented us from doing what we need to do to show support, and, you know, chris remains on the ground and he will be going about his activities and trying to give more information about the group so we haven't been reached the decision because it's a complex issue. >> why it can't recognize them yet, like one legal issue that
gives you concerned, you mentioned the frozen assets -- >> look, our legal people leader of the department have been looking at this issue tauscher cooks and i can't get into the complexity that there are issues what constitutes the government and what constitutes a precedent for the recognition so beyond that i don't want to go to say anything more. >> you say that gadhafi has no intention of stopping the bloodshed in this starving the people into submission. i was wondering, u.s. the ambassador spent a lot of time on the ground and know the inner workings and people involved. what in your opinion is the best way to get him to stop? >> if you take a look at where we have started and where we are today, you know, on march 15th,
basically two days before the 1973 was passed, we were on the verge of reading what we all considered would be a humanitarian catastrophe. we took gadhafi at his word he would go into benghazi and commit a slaughter. since that time i think that we have been -- the speed with which all of this has happened is quite unprecedented. in terms of our getting together number one, a very effective united nations security council resolution, number two, getting together a coalition of our european allies -- >> i'm sorry, all of the things you're talking about, what you've done commodore still saying he has no intention of stopping the bloodshed. >> it is a collaborative process we are engaged in with our allies, number one was the military part, the protection of humanitarian life to get services flowing to gadhafi and number two is the political part
of that which is the international consensus that has become quite solid in order to be a solution to this gadhafi needs to leave. in terms of what will it take to get gadhafi to stop, it's a very difficult proposition when you have a government which is willing to bring to bear all of its power and everything it's got to destroy its population. this is a jury difficult issue for all of us. don't forget this isn't just one man who's been in power for 40 years it is the system that's been in power for 40 years. so i think i realize that the question comes up are you patient, are you satisfied, we are doing what we can given the situation as it is. no one likes to be in the position to say that we find this to be a satisfactory situation but i think we are bringing to bear all we can in
terms of our coalition partners and actions and in terms of beginning to look at the political process he's that hopefully will lead to the end to this but in terms of trying to stop gadhafi, we've stopped -- we've seen the defection of some of his people around him. we are trying to get other nations obviously to take positive steps towards recognizing, recognizing or having a better relationship with tnc. we are looking to others to try to find a way to get a financial mechanism set up to strength in the opposition and the tnc. so these are steps we are all taking. there is no magic bullet so to speak this going to convince tnc to stop this. it's quite a few combination of what we are doing now, what we do in the future in terms of the other political tools, nonmilitary tools we might bring
to bear, and at some point to get him to realize that the game is up and he's got to go. >> do you see an issue of the clock running in the suppose a vindication of the war power act some time ago that when the congress comes back that they could be concerned about what the u.s. role, with the u.s. military operation is and adding to that some of the concern senator mccain asked expressing nato to step up some of its strikes? >> i'm not an expert on the war power acts we have to be for the to my legal colleagues but i would say that from the start we have been consulting and briefing the congress and i have had several discussions with senators, congressmen and staff as recently as last week so we are keeping them a price of the situation. >> do they seem satisfied walking to in the diplomatic and military subornation? to the scene satisfied in those conversations that we are within
the bounds of what is legally required? >> i can't speak to whether or not the judgment is with respect to where we are in the war power. i can speak to the fact that the appear to be quite satisfied with the kind of information that we are breeding in terms of what we are trying to accomplish with our coalition partners and how we see the situation evolving in the second piece of this >> could you ever read a little bit more come to mentioned the gadhafi forces trying to surround the which is in the western mountains and start them out. can you talk about more what is going on and how you know this? >> as i mentioned last time, when we reconstitute my team back here in washington once they were evacuated and when we suspended our operations in effect we brought with us a
wealth of talent and knowledge and experience and a lot of the people that are here now with the team maintained contact throughout the country. one of the i call it the june crounse of the two years in libya was to expand the contact throughout the country. we had a very good public affairs office which that people throughout the country and we've maintained contact with people throughout the country including the western part which is proven largely excess to most media or other content and from these people we have been able to get almost daily reports about the situation in the west and about the brutal kind of activities gadhafi is taking against the west especially when you think that especially in the areas in place a slight a couple the
mountains where there's always been the suspicion on the part of the gadhafi towards the group so she's been hiding from the reports the we are getting the have been brutal in going after those mountain towns in the western mountains. >> wanda section mentioned there doesn't seem to have been many much success in killing off the gadhafi inner circle. i wonder why you think it is and what your acceptance is of the stability of the sort of course the tener regime right now. are the net for the long haul and if so what are they going to? >> i think what you have left right now and the support of gadhafi command especially tripoli is the hard core let's call them the elements not leave the family that is indeed together but also of those
military security units that have received the benefit of his largess over the years and probably believe that the last stand has to be with him because they probably don't have a future. the business success in having him the i think what we are hearing and we are in touch with officials from time to time is in fact they would like to break from the group and this isn't the most could to her -- based on our experience these are people that had agencies and other technocrats and the would like to break but the number one they are afraid for their lives and for their families. so i am not sure one can
characterize the situation as not having more success. i think the situation of terror and fear inside tripoli is so great that people i think i have known and others have known who would normally like, who normally up until now have broken with gadhafi aren't doing it for those reasons. >> you think that situation is going to continue? coming into it there were hopes in the media that the regime refractor from inside and shatter a part to read the the that is likely? >> the actions we are taking with our coalition partners and will use all going after the command-and-control centers in the tripoli and in terms of our own continuing to reach out to these people we will send some kind of signal to them that the time is fast approaching where
they have to make a decision and they can make a decision to either go down with the ship or else change sides and perhaps seek some kind of agreement as to their future lives or the future lives of the family. >> to my follow-up on matt where is he, do you know? >> not to my knowledge. >> has he been a valuable -- hard to say. in terms of the actual knowledge is provided i think it is a symbol important and in the sense that we have shown to the people that remained in the gadhafi regime that here is someone that was a part of the gadhafi inner circle, someone who was problematic in the west because of the past but also
someone who has defected he will and hasn't been imprisoned. i don't know in terms of what his other travel trouble. >> who decides he can travel? >> that i'm not sure. >> how many people have been killed by the gadhafi regime so far after the war broke out? >> very hard to say. we have seen the figures ranging from ten to 30,000. i don't think that we will get an accurate number until we really get more hands-on experience on the ground, just difficult. and don't forget we keep getting reports from the contacts in trouble the and the west of the body some covered on the beach. we just have no sense of the scale of the until it is over.
>> based on the experience in handling the gadhafi regime when do you think that he will give up? >> as i said, the last time i was here, one who knows libya at all and knows the mind of gadhafi or those who are with him he doesn't speculate on what their intentions may be cued the only thing i can say is it's going to be i hope not a slow process. it's going to be a deliberate process and at some point, he's got to realize the game is up this is not going to be tolerated by the international community and the best thing he can do by the libyan people and themselves to give it up and allow a space process to take open. >> thank you. >> the rebels themselves you say
they deserve support but some people in the u.s. administration say that they are concerned as they are right now you're incapable and i would like to get your opinion on that and then also if -- i know we have been over this many times but it continues to be an issue which is the final objective yesterday or the day before there was the insurgent coming out inside the british about the targeting gadhafi and then was pulled back and we had the president putin raising oil ku. it's very murky. can you define exactly could he be a target and can you protect the people without getting rid of the man carrying the attacks? >> on the first question are they capable of governing -- as
i said before this is a country that hasn't seen the politics or the civil society resembling normal or political or economic life in the 41 years his regime has been in power so in these first two not even three months we would expect those who briefly waged the resistance and are now trying to put together some kind of a governing body are going to have problems in terms of organizations lonely on the political side but perhaps on the military side as well. but i think we have seen progress. we have seen progress in terms of their way they interact with each other as a group, the way that the of reached out to others, the way that they are
talking to the international community and very sophisticated way with respect to for example how to channel assistance so we think the word incapable was probably harsh. are they in the throes of establishing themselves? yes. can we expect the should have problems? yes. are they going in the right direction? absolutely. >> i would also add that life in benghazi has changed significantly. kress and his team had reported for example you have ngos bringing up the beating political issues, you have a seminar at the university of think it was yesterday of a professor talking about constitutional issues, you have
cultural events, poetry readings, newspapers he and his team and oth and his team and others you wouldn't recognize had you been in libya on february 16th so to their credit this is part of the consequence of having a group like this which waged the opposition and in fact we are seeing what could be the world to be foreshadowed in the life of benghazi right now. you know the policy with respect to the assassination was reiterated by cheeks sullivan yesterday. i haven't spoken to anybody and i don't believe that any credible group or individual sees a solution to the libyan
problem without the removal of market of the but our job is not, and our goal is not -- our goal is to get a political solution but through the means i think those govern the actions of the coalition partners as well and the solution is a transformation political process which in seven libya and the government determined by the people of libya. talking to african or arab countries to find a place that can post mr. gadhafi if he decides to leave? >> this is going to be part of an ongoing process, the second part separate from the military one and obviously it's going to
involved how would you talk about a cease-fire with with the elements be and certainly one of the elements of that process that we hope will lead to a new libya and libyan government will be with the state will be. we are just at the beginning stage of kind of putting together the various steps needed but we will have to address and certainly one of those will be what country potentially could accept that point. >> are there any countries that have accepted to hold? >> to my knowledge, no. to my knowledge the discussions have not gone to the glove of specificity. >> about two more questions. >> i'm still a little puzzled with the meaning is of your
statement that the tnc is a body worthy of our support. is that judgment is a way for the administration to do anything else, does it open the way, does it make it more likely the administration might provide them arms or any other kind of support, any kind of diplomatic activity? >> from the start of the crisis, the president has not ruled out everything has been on the table. as we've had for example the issue of recognition, the issue of frozen assets, how to deal with them. we've had the issue of how to deal with the oil sales which i would also note that yesterday granted the licensing authority to the individuals and institutions to deal with the tnc. the question of lethal arms has been there.
the question anyone among those issues related to the crisis has been on the table and i feel that as time goes by is able to provide more information. we will be looking at the different things we might be able to do to step up cooperation. at this particular point, i can't tell you the lethal arms will or will not be provided because there has been no decision on that. i can't tell you whether in fact at some point in the future we will recognize the tendency. those are issues that remain to be determined but i think that as time goes on taha we are gaining more confidence. >> you are encouraging other countries to recognize and support the tnc?
>> even though we haven't reached the point where we are -- we made the determination that we would be in our interest to recognize them eight may be that the blacks say the constraints of other countries to do that may well be to recognize the more to give -- if them more support, for simple, closed down the gadhafi in the seas and allow tnc to four examples to push interest office of some kind as we have done here so that's what i meant by that. >> if it is true that it's doing and saying all the right things and basically transform tnc into this city people are frolicking in the streets and reading poetry to each other and doing things like that, why not? i want to get off the recognition thing but why are we
seeing them only getting uniforms and radios and not some kind of substantial economic aid other than just the aid relief? >> let's take the view -- >> if you had lived in libya february 16th he would have seen none of those things and for them to have been able to create an environment in which these can go on this isn't a place where you have -- it is a different environment. >> so if they've done this wonderful thing why aren't they getting more assistance? >> we are going on a step-by-step process to determine what is in our interest and what we can do for them >> a couple questions. first come from your experience,
mr. gadhafi is asking or mention that one point he feels bad he's not going to keep the power. how the other one filling up the discussion that you had a few remember that in iran it's happened 30 years ago the same thing that you are talking about, the discussion the universities and three movies, press but it didn't last long so good hookworm if you would elaborate. >> we can only to the situation as it is now. we ask what is different today in libya from the situation that we and the international community found ourselves in march 15th, 2 days before the resolution was passed and
probably two or three days before we are about to witness the slaughter so i'm just saying all along that path and this is on the 67 weeks out of how far we've come. for me to say they've built itself out as a credible organization right now that isn't a realistic notion but i don't see why we necessarily have to focus specifically on the issue of recognition and number two, to see that bill life has changed significantly is also another datapoint or reflection how change can occur which i think is part and parcel consequence of the actions we have taken over the last several weeks so i think we are moving in the right direction. we have the momentum and to use
how the life has changed in benghazi is a very compelling point to make in terms of the kind of momentum we are building up and the fact it's not only benghazi in the east that has forged a consensus as we have in the international community that they have to go and a new process has to begin the that is a consensus we've heard from the context in the west, the salt and the east so there is a lithium consensus and the momentum is in our direction. is it as fast as we would like probably not but it's not going to be an easy africa and we knew that from the start but again take a look where we were and where we are now. has it been perfect? know that we are moving in the right direction. >> the trouble and she was one
to use for his own advantage. one of the hallmarks said of the grassroots revolution and the signs you see for example in benghazi or we are one libya. everybody knows that libya for thousands of years has had a tribal society and we know they're very important and very important as social institutions especially in the rural areas but the manipulations of the tribes has been a hallmark of the regime since the start and part of building this new libya will the tribes constitute an important part of the social fabric and they will continue to constitute an important part of the social fabric we should have
following a recent trip to the united states british defence secretary liam fox told british troops will not be deployed on the ground in libya and the libya operations will not negatively affect the mission in afghanistan. during this 90 minute hearing members ask that the financial cost of operations in libya to fly body armor to opposition forces and british response to
the situation and syria. >> welcome to the defense committee inquiry into operations of libya. and since you were in the united states yesterday we are grateful to you for coming in so soonre after what we presume will be a long and grueling flight. was a before we begin i would like to make an announcement and i neve make an announcement on the an jacket jackets but they don't. anybody wants to remove their jacket please do. and next, secretary of state please introduce your team. hardly necessary but nevertheless. >> thank you, chairman. gives me great pleasure to introduce my fellow witnesses on
my right your left the assistant chief for operations who the committee knows well. and the director of operational policy, who the committee might know even better. perhaps i can, if i may, say a few words before we begin questions, chairman. >> with what in mind, exactly? >> if i may, one or two brief points about how we see this session and the -- >> this session being this evidence. >> this evidence session. >> okay. >> to set the scene, chairman, britain is taking an active role in international efforts to protect civilians in libya. we do so under the authority of the united nations and as part of a broad coalition which includes arab nations amongst its number. as the foreign secretary told the house of commons yesterday,
60 nations are contributing aircraft or maritime assets to the region, in total 34 nations are either providing or offering various kinds of support including military, logistical or financial support and humanitarian relief. we work very closely across government to you the national security council and make sure military activity is one of the measures to maintain the pressure on moammar gadhafi's regime. we don't engage closely with our coalition partners. yesterday's chairman said i visited washington to discuss the issues with u.s. secretary of defense robert gates. in the last few weeks i've visited qatar, italy, cyprus, france and u.s. yesterday. i'm sure the committee would want to join us paying tribute to the bravery and professionalism of the men and women of the uk and our allies armed forces for make such a
significant contribution to the operation in libya. this is an active and fluid operation and evolving campaign. >> do bear in mind that the foreign secretary made a statement to the house of commons yesterday, and i think we're aware of the background to all of this. and i'm sure that things that you have to say will be adequately brought out in the questions that we will wish to ask. >> one point. this is an excellent fluid operation in an evolving campaign and the messages that have come out of this session here this afternoon will resonate with our forces and also with the gadhafi regime. and i hope to committee will under that there are areas of information which we could probably give more completely,
but the committee, i hope, will understand that to make too much information publicly at this time could prejudice our efforts. >> yes. thank you very much for making that point because i think it is extremely important. i am sure that the committee will bear that in mind in the questions that we ask. >> thank you, chairman. >> and the tone that we adopt in what we ask. i would like to begin by asking about the issue of taking sides. it seems to me that we are taking sides. do you agree that that is the impression that is being given, or would you suggest that we are not taking sides? >> oh, absolutely.
on the contrary, we're taking sides. we are taking sides of the civilians. that is what the u.n. resolution is asking us to do. and the civilians are being attacked by their own government. it is incumbent upon us under the u.n. resolution from text us so to that extent of course we have to take a side. are we investing in a policy that has a pre-determined view as to what the government of libya ought to be? no. >> and, if we are taking that side, what are we doing to ensure that that side wins? >> it is not a question of if you mean by side one of the redwr regime or opposition forces what's incumbent upon us to ensure the population is protected. everything that we have done in
recent weeks to achieve that by degrading the military capabilities of the regime, by directly targeting their assets that threaten the civilian population, by pushing them as we did from benghazi and a humanitarian catastrophe, by damaging their ammunition dumps by degrading their fuel supplies, by making their logistics much more difficult, by degrading the command and control, all of these things are a means by which we intend to diminish the ability of that regime to harm the civilian population. >> the worry that i think was expressed by bob haynesworth yesterday in the house of commons is to make sure we're doing enough to make sure that the fighting goes on but not doing enough that it comes to an end. >> there has been some talk as the committee is aware of this
concept that we're and i stalemate. i delved with this issue yesterday in the united states. over the last few days we have seen opposition forces make significant gains in misrata. it's not yet clear whether they, in fact, control the city. the situation remains a little confuseed. we've seen the italians decide to contribute attack aircraft for the first time. kuwaitis donating known the opposition forces. we've seen ourselves and others with mentoring groups in benghazi. i think there's a danger in extrapolating the events of any one short period of time into the wider shape of the campaign. i think if we look back to where we were before the intervention when it was entirely possible that the regime launched a humanitarian catastrophe upon the people of benghazi and where we are today and the military capability of that regime, we are a long way away from that starting point. so i do not recognize it as a
stalemate and i think that we made some considerable progress. if we look, for example, at the speed of which nato of able to put together its command and control, i think it's been considerably faster than in previous conflicts and i think the fact that we've been able to send a broad coalition with a high level of fire power including arab countries in that coalition is a achievement. so i think we are moving forward. so i don't expect the suggestion that not enough is being done. >> so you don't accept that it is a stalemate when you were in the united states yesterday, did you tell admiral mullen that he was wrong? >> well, when i was interviewed, it was quite within earshot of admiral mullen. i have made my view perfectly clear. a moment ago that admiral mullen talked about, he talked about the context of last week. since then, especially in the last 72 hours we've seen a
number of factors move in the favor of the coalition. as i said at the outset this is a fluid situation. we must be careful not to look at the situation at any one time and assume that's what the future will look like. >> we'll come back to some of these issues any way during the course of the afternoon. that's helpful. we know you have to go at 4:00. so this is time limited. so, general, would you mind -- unless you have something essential to add, jeffrey dobbs. >> the u.n. resolution permits also necessary measures to be taken to protect civilian life, but it also excludes foreign occupation force in any form. what do you see as the limitations of the u.n. resolution? >> well, we are quite clear that
all necessary measures are subject to the test of being reasonable and proportionate to protect the civilian population. i think what we've done has always fallen within that. there are, of course, limitations to what can be achieved by air alone. it was accepted that by the u.n. resolution when the no fly zone was created. but our aim was not to impose upon the people of libya a particular form of government. our aim was to protect the civilian population. i go back to the whole aim of what it is we're trying to achieve in libya, which is to ensure men, women and children can sleep safely in their beds, knowing that they will not be attacked by gadhafi's forces. so everything we've done is with that in mind. and we're being extremely capable on two fronts.
one is to accept in achieving the aims, we must at all times minimize the chance of civilian casualties. there are those who have said and have said to me as i visited other countries, could we not have done more, more quickly by air and the answer is yes. but to do so, would have only been possible if we were willing to accept greater collateral damage and higher risk of civilian casualties. and apart from the argument of being on the high moral ground, and having a higher respect for life than gadhafi clearly does, it's been essential in making that coalition internationally not the least with the arab countries we show respect for minimizing civilian casualties. so we've been very clear there's a limitation on what we can do there. likewise when it comes to our mentoring groups we've been very clear to point out it's to give these groups, they are there to
give greater organizational capability, to help with logistics and to help with communications. we at times have been very careful to act twin advice of the attorney general what is lawful and what is not under the u.n. resolution. >> of course there are civilians who have no bed to sleep in, normally because they are in the west of the country they are moving towards the border and there's the possibility of having to create some foreign safe haven for those civilians and in your vow with the deployment of troops to help create and protect those safe havens for civilians and the fighting in the west intensifies the prospect is happening increase would the deployment of troops for humanitarian purposes to see if there are civilian life on the border be within the term of the resolution or would you have to seek a newman date?
>> that's something we would have to seek advice on a case by case basis from the attorney general. the basis on which we operate is if there's any new development that we believe is different from that which has gone before, we would seek advice from the attorney general. that's not a question we have yet put to the attorney general but i expect it's something we'll have to do that. >> have we got troops to deploy if we need to? >> there's no intention to deploy any british troops on the ground in libya. >> even for humanitarian -- >> we have no intention to deploy british troops in libya. >> does the u.n. resolution permit under the current mandate the coalition forces to target colonel gadhafi? >> we, first of all, of course did not talk about specific targeting. but we made it very clear that we believe that the resolution
and all necessary measures to protect the civilian population, allows us very clearly legal justification to target where there's members of regime in the control of those take the risks. our aim is to reduce the capability of the regime to make war on its people. we do not discuss individual targets, but we make very clear what the general case is and those involved capable of understanding that. >> my question simply is would the u.n. resolution permit it if it were to be considered? >> well, that again is a question for the attorney general. it's not a question that's come up because we've not discussed that particular question, we have made very clear we're dealing with command and control aspects. to make that a little clearer, when people talk about, for example, colonel gas any's compound in tripoli it seems to
have the aura of some holiday villa. what we're talking about is reinforcing areas that are being used for command and control of military assets, whether they happen to be an accommodation facility incorporated within it. we're clear that our job is to degrade the regime's ability to make war on the people of libya and continue to do and the resoft of tr resolve of the alliance is diminished. the government made that advice to parliament. we undertake to make subsequent advice relative to parliament, seems to be quite crucial to a decision that we take. >> i'll certainly discuss that with my cabinet colleagues. it has to be a collective decision. we didn't make the legal advice, we gave a summary of the advice. i know this may sound like
semantics, but we understand the complexity of this issue. it has been the government's intend to make very clear the basis on which we are operating if there were to be issues that are different from those that we set out before. i will certainly give an undertaking to consult with my colleagues about whether the government feels it necessary to make such information available. >> what exactly does the issue in libya aim to achieve? has that been agreed. what have you clearly defined your aim? >> well, the uk's aim, if i make begin civilians for gadhafi to comply with u.n. resolution 1973 and for libyan people to have the opportunity to choose their own future. these are fully aligned with
nato's objectives, which are to protect civilians and civilian population areas under threat of attack by the regime, to implement a no-fly zone to protect civilians and to implement the arms embargo. these are the sames set out under the u.n. resolution. >> you said it was for the people of libya to choose their own regime. is regime change an actual goal? is that something that you actually actively are working towards? >> regime change is not part of the u.n. >> neither is the revolution. >> i would have thought it was a very clear aim for all of us that the free decision of people to determine their own future is something we would want to see. i would have hardly thought that would require incorporation into the resolution. i would have thought it was to an extent self-evident, but it is clear regime change would be a major policy initiative and
one which is not signed up to in the resolution. >> are we giving mixed messages? i just looked at the letter, the libyan letter from sarkozy in which it is said, if i can find it, where it is suggested that in fact libya would be -- they can't imagine a future for libya with gadhafi in charge. is that not also tant mount to saying that what we are looking for is regime change. >> the sentence before makes it very clear. it says our duty and our mandate under u.n. security council resolution 1973 is to protect civilians and we're doing that. it is not to remove gadhafi by force, but it is impossible to imagine a future for libya with gadhafi in part. that echos the views that have been put forward by the opposition of forces themselves. when they have already witnessed
two cease fires, two unilateral cease fires put forward by gadhafi during which time the population was still being slaughtered, i can understand how they feel about having little faith in a word of a man who has broken it so frequently in the past. >> i can understand that too. what i can't understand is sort of the almost dual speak where one minute we are saying that regime change and targeting of individuals is part of our mission, and then we're saying it isn't. which is it? >> it is also very important to apply psychological pressure to the regime. one of the ways in which we can hasten the end of this conflict is for the regime itself to recognize that there is no long term future, as long as colonel gadhafi believes there is a future, he's likely to want to continue the conflict. it's essential we send clear messages that he's despised by many of his own people. he's isolated internationally and there is no future for his
regime if he continues to believe there's such a possiblist, it's likely the conflict will continue. >> equally, if he believes if he loses power, he will be taken before the international criminal court, that gives him no reason forever thinking of leaving libya and finding a safe haven elsewhere. >> that argument is regularly put, but i would put the converse. do we really want a situation where we give some of those who commit the most heinous crimes against humanity the ghetto to subjected to the international law. ..let you go and you will not b subjected to international law. i think it's essential in the longer term, the international criminal court has not only a long reach but a long memory. >> so can i be clear, the nato allies are in agreement with key aims of the mission? are the arab league in agreement with those key aims? >> the arab partners who are
with us are very clearly operating under the nato aims, under the nato rules, including the nato mission and nato command and nato targeting. and the aim of our contact group is to ensure that, as many of the country's in the region as possible come within the broader political umbrella of support. that is one of the ways in which we show that this is not the west, if you like,ryin to impose a solution on libya. but this is a broader coalition of nations that sees that there is a people who want to be free, being brutally suppressed and the international community responding accordingly. i think it's one of the great achievements in libya that we have kept so many of the arab countries with us and that so many have been willing to become part and attend the contact group. >> are we at risk of a stalemate
between the libyan government and the opposition forces, and what more do you think nato can do within the current mandate to make sure that we don't end up with a constant stalemate and no one actually achieving a major amount of por. >> as i have already said. i don't think we're in a position of stalemate. i think we've seen substantial progress being made in some areas in recent days. it may not be as fast as people might like or have hoped for, but when we see more countries still being able to be willing to commit themselves to ground attack, for example, and the decision by italy should be hugely welcomed, when we see the progress that has been made in misrata. we have all seen the pictures of the dreadful humanitarian misery there. when we're getting countries like kuwait being willing to come forward as part of one of the countries in the region to commit funding, then we are seeing some movement. when we are seeing the u.s.
drones, for example, the armed predator coming into use. when we're seeing targeting a tripoli of command and control close to the center of the region's power base. all these are reasons to assume that this is not a stalemate. >> as part of all this, how will you judge and when will you know that you've achieved what it is you're supposed to achieve? >> i'm not looking for a date, but can you give us -- it's an impossible, ridiculous question. what do you see the process being by which you make that evaluation, you make that judgment? what discussions are you having with your international collaborators in the nato plus coalition to actually decide what the process and the method is for deciding the exit strategy and particularly, the military component of the exit
strategy and how will you decide it? >> i'm sure it is actually possible to give a date, but the only person capable of doing so is colonel gadhafi in terms of when he would stop waging war on his own population. our strategy is clear. militarily, to continue the u.n. enforcement until the threat to civilians is lifted and politically, to support the libyan people to choose their own future. these criteria and therefore the date really need to be measured by the regime's actions, not gadhafi's words. we've already had gadhafi say he's having a cease fire. we've not seen that. even when a couple of days ago, he was talking about pulling out of miss rautrata so the tribes t involved. there are those who say does the coalition have the nerve, does
it have the guts, does it have the commitment to see through this campaign? and the message that i want anyone who is sympathetic or involved in the regime to hear very clearly today is that the international community understands what it has been asked to do. it understands what its duty is and its resolve will not falter until we have achieved militarily and politically what i have just set out. >> the question i'm asking you, i suppose to the answer to the question i'm asking you is you'll know it when you see it. how are you going to decide that? because you have a very varied coalition of people involved. some might wish to make that judgment earlier than others. what is the discussion either within the contact group or the nato targeting processes or whatever about a common agreed process to make such a decision? >> of course, one side of that, it's relatively simple. the civilian population are safe and they're not being shelled nor is there the ability to do so quickly.
for example, i don't regard it as being a cease fire if there is a tank at the end of the street pointing at me and it's just not firing during this hour. that is not safety for the civilian population. so we will have to ensure that the forces do not threaten them and are not capable of infli inflicting that. that is, to an extent, self-evident. and the allies are very clear about that. our focus is on the implementation of u.n. resolution 1973 which lays out the very clear conditions that need to be met, including an immediate cease fire, a halt to all attacks on civilians and full humanitarian access to all those in need. those are the criteria we believe will fulfill u.n. resolution 1973. >> but in that respect then, it won't just be the actual coalition of actors who are
prosecuting the mandate that would be part of that process, but presumably the u.n. itself in some fashion, in evaluating when they say your bit is done. we now move to phase ii, whatever. >> nothing would please us more than for the kinetic element to be over and for us to be able to focus on u.n. assistance to the humanitarian efforts and to the rebuilding, politically and otherwise, of libya. as to when that can happen, i go back to the point. ask colonel gadhafi, i'm afraid, rather than me. >> if i see him, i will. >> i'm sure you won't. >> secretary of state, we've already provided the libyan opposition with body armor, communication equipment and a number of officers and advisers.
presumably you're satisfied with the provisions within 1973. my question is is this the first step towards directly arming the opposition and would that fall within the current u.n. resolutions? >> no, it's not a first step. we've been very careful this is mentoring, not training, as i made the point, this comes inside the legal advice we get to make sure that we're always very safely inside resolution 1973. our mentoring role is to ensure that the opposition forces are able to organize themselves better, the logistics are better, the communications are better. we believe this is vital to their state and to help protect the civilian population better. it is not a first step nor is it intended to be. >> well, you've made a distinction now which some people would say it's a
distinction without difference. rather than argue that, can i ask, do you think that the civilian opposition is sufficiently organized and trained to be able to make proper use of the equipment its got and the equipment we give to it, the relevant equipment we're giving it? >> well, we know that those on the opposition side are very disparate grouping. they are not trained military. as we've seen from our tv pictures, i saw yesterday a geography teacher and a doctor and others discussing how they had taken up arms to protect the families and the communities without any training. clearly, they are at a disadvantage in that sense. but i go back to the point, if i may, that i made at the outset, that we are not there to be involved in choosing a side that will govern libya ultimately.
we're there to protect the civilian population. we judge that as part of that protection of the civilian population to give those opposition forces greater capabilities in terms of organization, in terms of logistics, in terms of communications, is well within what we believe we are able to do. in terms of training and supplying weapons, there clearly is an arms embargo that applies to two sides. >> the logic -- the question is whether it's going to deliver something as a result of the impasse. we regard the national transitional council, a legitimate political interlow cuted. is it sufficiently organized to represent a realistic government for the country, something that can pull together a current military struggle, a future economy and the rest of it? >> if i may ask to say something
about that. but, you know, let's be frank about this conflict. if we want to see our objectives achieved, then one would be seeing a military force capable of taking on the regime. we've made very clear that we are not in business for that. that's not what the resolution allows us to do. it is not within the aims of the united kingdom or nato. if we want to change the equilibrium nonetheless. the way to do that is to degrade the regime and hopefully bring about a change in the behavior of that regime, vis-a-vis the civil population. that is the option open to us by our continued use of air power and the degradation of the assets of the gadhafi regime. it is clearly the side that we -- the path we have chosen to take within the legality set out
by the u.n. resolution. but peter, i think, can give an answer to the more detailed question of the transitional council. >> i think it's true to say that the itmc places huge challenges. we have had a diplomatic mission alongside them for about three weeks. we've been getting to know them through that process. we think potentially they could become an organization that as you said represents all of libya. they've been quite careful to make sure that they have representatives not just from the eastern part, but also from misrata and the western towns and so on. there are some experienced people there. former justice minister, and there are others with a range of skills. their program is one that we would, i think, find admirable. they seek to establish over time
representative governments, moving towards elections and so on. we think they have the right aspirations and potentially the capability, but i won't pretend they don't face huge challenges as well. >> thank you. in relation to the body armor that was supplied. it was supplied to the opposition forces. with any restrictions on whether it was used by civilians or not? >> no restrictions for distribution by the itnc. >> chairman, the provision of body armor is permitted under the nonlethal military exception to the arms embarg row under operative paragraph 9 a of resolution 970 but does require prior approval from the sanctions committee set up under that resolution. given the pressing nature of the
requirement that the committee has already referred to under 4 of resolution 19, it was determined that an immediate dispatch was an appropriate course of action. it was to enable those forces to protect themselves as they defended their communities against those forces threatening civilians. we believe that there was an overwhelming case for doing so. >> sir, the provision of body armor for the protection of civilians was to enable forces to protect themselves. that's the word you just used. >> it's provision to the opposition, and to any civilian police was to enable them to protect themselves as they defended the civilian populat n population. >> sir? >> please.
>> this is to be used for those who are in defensive position trying to stop and attack or in terms of forward infantry trying to charge up the road? i think that's the area we're talking about. >> yes, the primary provision was to enable them to protect themselves as they defended their communities. so an overwhelming need for those who were protecting the communities and if you look at places where people are trying to protect their own community, they themselves could be as adequately protected as possible, not, i think, an unreasonable thing. >> you would expect this body armor to be used essentially by the soldiers of the opposition in protecting the civilians? is that a fair summary of what you said? >> first of all, it's difficult to determine who is a soldier and who is not. >> that's a very good point.
how would you do it? >> i think anybody involved in the protection of civilians fills the criteria. they may well be themselves civilians protecting themselves. where these items of body armor go is, in many ways, moot because they are all involved in this. >> how much is this body armor worth? that may seem a very small question in the overall cost of all of this, i'm just wondering who provided it and who paid for it? >> it came from contingent stocks which were the current u.k. operations. as for price tag, chairman, i'm unable to give you that. i'll look to see what it is. i'm not sure if sir watkins is able to do that. ahe's very good with numbers. >> i don't have a precise figure, chairman. this is basically stock armor that we had in stock against our
potential needs. we are in the process of replacing that armor as part of our routine replacement program, so it was available to be given to the opposition the way we say. i can't give you a precise value on it at the moment. i think it would be quite difficult to value it anyway. it's not something you can put on ebay and seek bids for. >> there's a huge strategic leap in all senses from an air war to a ground war. not a ground war, a team of observers put on the ground, boots on the ground. i think this is quite a worrying development, because, of course, it will be under security council 1973, but what happens
when the military team we put on the ground comes back to you, sir, and says we believe that it is an absolute requirement to help these people that they have, say, forward air controllers, trainers, liaison officers with the forces, because they are observers, but i'm slightly concerned by what -- if they're observers, are they actually helping the military of the opposition, or are they just watching or are they not watching? there we are. that's my question. what do you comment on that, sir? >> well, we have very clearly defined remit to the team in terms of mentoring to the opposition to improve the transitional national council's
ability to protect civilians and civilian populated areas. i said we've been very clear from the legal advice that we have and it should be limited to enabling them to organize their internal structures, to prioritize and communicate more effectively. we have not, at any point, sought any advice on going further in that role. we're very clear that this is about protecting the civilian population. of course, there's a major difference between ground forces and the air war. we all understand the limitations, but in passing the resolution for the no-fly zone, the international community took account of that. we recognized there are limitations, but that it was also very clear that it would be completely unacceptable to effectively have foreign forces on libyan soil for political reasons which i'm sure i do not need to go into.
>> has the security council been consulted on the deployment of this team of observers? presumably they're aware, but have they tacitly approved it, or do the russians and the germans and the chinese, are they content with this? >> we're very clear that, from the advice that the government gets, that we are acting entirely within resolution 1973. we've been very careful at all times to do so. it's a view that obviously shared by a number of other countries in terms of this mentoring process. i think as that we have at all times made very clear that our basis for acting is that we believe it's justified in terms of protecting the civilian population and assisting those who themselves are protecting the civilian population.
>> i think that was an answer to a different question. he asked whether the security council had been consulted about this? >> i'm not sure about the legal basis or need to do that. >> they were not formally consulted but they are certainly aware. there's no secret. it was announced by the foreign secretary and i'm sure our ambassador in new york will have brought it to the attention of the proper authorities there. >> my final question is one of these military officers was captured, are we sure that they will be treated properly under the geneva conventions and not treated by gadhafi as a spy? >> i think that it's hard to tell, but certainly, gadhafi is not rational. we have made every attempt to make sure that they are not captured by defining very
carefully the limits of their activity and making sure that we have plans to recover them, if we believe the risk is increasing, just as we have with the rest of the mission. >> get them out, great. thank you. >> even if colonel gadhafi has scant respect for international law or human life, that those who aren't members of those forces might have those values. >> can i come back to one issue about united nations? the issue of the possibility of seeking a new mandate or new resolution. i mentioned earlier that there was no mention in 1973 of the issue of the libyan people choosing their own government. would that not be preferable if a resolution could be taken
through the united nations expressing that as being the end goal? >> well, as i said, chairman, my personal view would be that it is self-evident that we would want the people of libya to be able to determine their own future. why else would we be as an international community intervening to protect them? i'm not aware of any suggestion that there has been -- that this would require us to go back to the united nations but i'm perfectly happy to discuss it with our colleagues in the foreign colleagues if there have been any such notions. i'm not aware of them. >> we're not yet to the point where the resolution of 1973 has been completely fulfilled by gadhafi. it would seem to us a little premature to be talking already in terms of another resolution.
>> can i ask you about nato command and control processes and structures? one question might be are you confident that it's working? the answer is probably yes, but i'd like to explore that a little bit more if i could. about its efficiency and this question of legality within it, we got a new element now, you mentioned it yourself. we got predators, we got drones. general cartwright in america says the difference is -- what did he say? he said when you're struggling to pick friend from foe, a vehicle like a predator that can get down lower, and get i.d.s better, it helps us. it's the idea of picking out snipers on balconies and things in the american press. how is the targeting process, that includes nato plus nations, albeit in the nato driven process in terms of targeting
and making decisions based upon the assets now available? just to remind him that's what you can do if you need to. that's an easy target. the question of drones are more difficult. how is the target process working and are you satisfied of the legalities and other things? >> i'll pass. >> there are two forms of targeting. first of all the deliberate targeting which is bordered at every level in nato and bordered in the u.k. by the secretary of state where we address very carefully the issues of necessa necessaryty. that's deliberate targeting. that's for fixed sites and installations.
the point you make about the point you a long period of time. the rules for those engagements are even more demanding in that you have to absolutely identify that it is hostile and that it also fills this question of proportionate a proportionate. in the cockpit of the jet so the pilot is also to be convinced that that target is legitimate. >> the legal advice within the process? >> delivered at all levels by legal advices and fundamentally back to the attorney general. >> i mean at the point where the operation was launched under nato command, we went in the ministry defense, the policy staffs and the legal advisers
went through the nato rules of engagement like by-line, compared them to the u.k. rules of engagement and satisfied ourselves that they were legal in every respect. >> to give a sense of what that meant, when we were looking at how we would go about generically about targeting, as i said at the outset, we were very, very careful that in any selection of targets, we would do so only when we were absolutely convinced there was minimal risk to civilians. when we transferred that targeting process on to nato, we made very clear that the rules under which we had been operating up to that point were the rules, our own forces would be expected to live up to under the nato process. and to that extent, we have, as other countries have,
effectively a red card that says our forces will live up to certain ethical values in carrying out this mission. it has not been an issue because nato has, as sir watkins was saying, very much followed what we have followed. >> i mean, it's important for us to be sure that british people of all sorts are protected because they are subject to the icc, americans of course aren't, there we are, that's an interesting conversation we can have later. >> can i just give an assurance, a personal assurance on that? because when it comes to the conflict and a secretary of state is asked to ally look at specific judgments, i took, as the government took from the outset, that we would set our assessment of acceptable civilian casualties as close to
zero as was possible to be. i can give this government can give, this country can give an absolute assurance to people of libya and people of the region that at all times we have sought as far as humanly possible to minimize civilian casualties because it makes a difference to our moral position in conflict and it makes a difference to our difference in alliing white political alliance. >> i think that's an extremely helpful and very important statement. i'm grateful to you for making it. >> absolutely. and that's what we're trying to ensure. to pursue this question about the target a little further, and the length of the process. it seems as though we have norway and sweden saying they're going to be in for six months. there's talks -- three months, sorry. talk about us being in for six
months, turkey, a slightly different position for spain, so on. under the command and control structures, what does that tell us about how that process can run over time should it need to run for a period longer than three months? >> i would have thought you on this committee would have been well aware of the debates we had on icaf about who was going to be there for what length of time. there are clearly strong parallels here. perhaps the chairman would like to tell us how it operates on the ground. >> i think the nato structure that circumscribes all this targeting business, to use your phrase, is designed for resilience and persistence, that the structure can exist as long as nato requires it to exist. as nations come in and out of the structure. making sure that the legal
requirements and the roe is part of that process. it's designed to endure, just recognizing what the secretary of state has said. we're in this for as long as it takes. >> implications for british national security, assessment of, the fact that we're in north africa, we're doing the things the way we're doing it, positive or negative? what's the impacts of british national security on our actions in libya? >> the governments, in particular, the home office and the office of counterterrorism is monitoring the implications or possible implications very carefully indeed. i can't go into detail, obviously, but it has been monitored day by day. >> thank you. >> you just said we are in it for as long as it takes. have you any idea how long it will take?
>> as i said, it's a question that will be well put where woel do so to colonel gadhafi who is the person to most determine how long this will continue. if colonel gadhafi were to stop attacking his people tomorrow, if we were to move to a safe distance and very clear that it was not a continued threat and we were able to get humanitarian assistance to the people of libya unhindered the in the way u.n. resolution 1973 demands of us, we would all be very happy. it is essential that the international community gives the very clear signal to the gadhafi regime that our resolve is not time limited. we understand what is being asked of us, what our duty is and our resolve will not be time limited, will not be short, will not be finite. >> will it take considerably longer if the americans pull
back? i note that pentagon acknowledge that the u.s. is to provide 8 percent of aerial surveillance and 100% of all electronic war mission. will it take longer if the americans pull back their forces? >> well, we are able to carry out the mission to degrade the regime's capabilities more quickly if we have the speed of targeting and we have the range of assets available to maximize the pace. are we grateful that the americans have, for example, made predator available, yes, we are. do went all nato partners to be maximizing what they do in terms of the activities within nato and the assets they make available? yes. i had no indication yesterday during my visit to the pentagon
that there was anything other than resolution in washington about ensuring that resolution 1973 is carried out. >> i'm very concerned about the supply and availability of missiles for both the u.k. and our allies, whether or not we have sufficient, with the current pace of air strikes. again, i note from the department of defense, they have said, again, 20th of march, 600 precision guided missions have been expended. 455 from the u.s., 147 from the coalition. they also go on to say gadhafi's virtually no air defense left and a diminished ability to command and sustain his forces on the ground. his air force cannot fly his air ships. his ammunition stores are being
diminished and command bunkers are being rendered useless, but they still have tactical mobile surface to air missiles which are still a threat. do we have a capability to still have a number of missiles we will need to tackle those mobile surface to air missiles? >> first may i say, that's a wonderful discrimination of a nonstalemate. the speed and degradation of his military capabilities was about as far of a stalemate as i could describe. excellent description. we believe that we have sufficient munitions and sufficient capabilities to carry out the tasks as set out for us in the nato mission. but the committee will understand why we would not comment on any specific stocks of any specific arms held by the united kingdom. >> are the stocks being replaced
under contingency reserve? >> is the cost being met by the contingency reserve? the chancellor made it very clear that it is, chairman. if you'll permit my smile. >> again, i would just like to raise the issue about communication with the public. are you happy that there has been sufficient communication with british public about this operation, and are you sure and confident that anxiety amongst the british public about mission creek and the risk of further engagement in a long term mission is being addressed in relation to the public's understanding of what is happening? >> we will take every opportunity we can to give those reassurances, which is why i'm actually very grateful that we
have had a chance to make some of those very specific points this afternoon and the government has made a number of statements. i don't think anyone can accuse the government of not being forward leaning in terms of the willingness to communicate, for example with parliament, although i do accept the adage that if you want to keep a secret in the united king.dom, the best place to give it is the house of commons because it's the least likely place to be reported, but the government is very keen that we do at all points make clear that we are acting under the u.n. auspices. this is the international community that has come together, along with arab countries and not just the usual coalition. that we are acting at all times to minimize civilian casualties, that we do understand mission
creek and we're being very clear that we are setting out to degrade the war making ability of a regime which had we as a country not intervened would probably have unleashed hell on the people of benghazi. it's very hard sometimes to stand up and be very proud about something you have helped to avoid happening, but i think in terms of humanitarian catastrophes, what we as an international community stopped happening in benghazi is something that i think history will be rather kind to us for if we have been insufficiently clear about blowing our international trumpet about what we have achieved there. that is perhaps a chrissism we can take to heart. having achieved the effect is of extreme importance.
>> yes, and i would just like to turn now to the wider region. if we accept that the motivation is not about regime change, but it's about protecting civilians, we've seen in the wider region considerable repression of a similar nation, perhaps in yemen and bahrain but particularly in syria. could i ask in terms of the resolution paving the way for a similar resolution in syria. at what point should that happen and if it shouldn't happen, why is libya treated differently? really mindful of the fact that the general public probably don't see the causes of distinction between what's happening in terms of wholesale slaughter in syria as is what's happening in libya? >> i think a good point to, again, i'm going to ask mr. watt kins to see if he has something
about the diplomatic. in tunisia and egypt, there was a spontaneous uprising of the poem. the armed forces in both those countries sty ies stood aside a not take the side of the government in repressing the populations who wanted to control their own destiny. in libya, it was different. in libya, the regime did use its military power to suppress that voice in the most brutal way. the international community passed a resolution, ultimately two resolutions which gave an ultimatum to gadhafi. when he continued to ignore the wishes of the international community, the international community acted. this was after we've been through sanctions, diplomatic pressure, all the means available to us short of military activity to persuade him to take a certain course of
action. would we hope that other regimes would learn, that they should not oppress their people? of course we would. what we've seen in syria the last few days has been an appalling spectacle of despotted regime bearing down on its people in a violent and brutal way. every one of us would condemn that. is there still a chance? i would hope that there's at least a flicker of hope there. i say this for the following reason, that i was in the gulf at the time of the first speech when everybody hoped that it was going to be a reforming moment. senior politicians in the region believed, because i believe they had been briefed to expect that this was going to be an important moment, when syria would turn a corner, the end of emergency law, political reform,
allowing the voice of the people to be heard. in the event there was disappointment and anger that that speech contained something very different, but we do know that a reform was at least being considered. we must redouble international pressure now in every way that we can to say there's an alternative road for syria. you are at a cross roads to an ex tent, you've gone down the wrong track. go back and look at the reform process again. we must hope, that it's possible for that to happen. >> make it very quick. >> surely, given what we've seen over the last 48 hours, there hasn't been a willingness to follow that path. if it is not followed in the 11th hour, presumably, there is the means through another resolution would seem the logical thing for the government to pursue that with its
international allies on the same basis on the action that was taken. >> we will want to increase the pressure on syria to bend to the will of the international community to ensure that the people of syria are free, safe and secure. i would quickly like to clarify how that happened. the point i want to make in all of these cases are different. the political processes are different in each country. the opportunity is available to us also. as the secretary of state has said, gadhafi very obviously and blatantly discarded any attempt for the political process in a pretty early stage. in other countries that is not the case. as the foreign secretary said yesterday, the political process in bahrain is not as overt as we would like, but nonetheless, it
is still there. we are seeking for diplomatic means to engage with them. similarly in yemen where there has been violence and firing on protesters and so on, there is a political process there that we are engaged in. i think we have to adjust our methods according to the particular circumstances. >> and gadhafi had every opportunity, given to him by the international community, to choose a nonviolent path for his country and his people and he chose not to do that. >> we agreed before this hearing began that we would try to spend the final part, we've only got about 20 minutes left, on the effect of .what is happening in libya on the strategic defense and security review. >> you were gentlemanly enough not to call me ridiculous when i suggested you were required to find a billion saving for the
end of the month. of course you somehow weren't required to find that billion. but if i look at what the costs are to be in libya, what the missiles cost, each one of them is an enormous amount behind the figures. it's not cheap. must you say, it's coming out of contingency costs. it is nevertheless delayed costs. could you just a a little bit in terms of whether you think a reprieve which you clearly got in march from finding the billion you had been asked to find, what ex tent would you say it might be linked with the operation in libya which clearly was not foreseen? >> one might almost say that was leading the witness. >> chairman, this is cross examination. you're allowed. >> the scsr made clear that we would expect to be able to maintain an enduring operation like afghanistan, an operation
like in the kinetic form that we've seen in libya and a smaller one. it has fallen win the parameters that we set. under the adopted posture in the sdsr, so it has come within expectations. programs the level and speed and intensity has come earlier than we might have ever hoped but nonetheless, it has fallen within the realms to what the sdsr was set up to deal with. >> given you said it would take whatever it takes to do and however long it takes, what are the resources we have to allow us, and the bottomless pit of money, for how much longer would u.k. have the means to be a meaningful contributor? >> we have, as the chairman
indicated, agreement that the additional costs will be met from the reserve. again, i go back, if i may, to my original point, that it is very important that these issues are discussed, but it's more important that we send a clear message in the current mission that we are not going to be limited by paints. >> i remember them. >> but we will -- we have the result to see through the mission. it's very important that we do not signal any point that we may waver in our commitment to achieve in libya. >> will you forgive me? there is one question i didn't hear an answer. was there a reprieve on the billion pounds funding gap caused by the libyan operations. >> that's also leading the
witness because it makes an assumption in the question. what has happened in terms of the wider picture in libya, i think it would be wrong to conflict them, because what is happening in libya is within what we expected our abilities to be under what we set out in the sdsr. we knew that we might be called upon to carry out a mission of this nature, not this specific one, and that is planned for within sdsr and the assumptions we made, but the flexibility we would require of military assets were taken with that in mind. >> when do you intend to admit to the reprieve on the 1 billion pound funding gap. >> i tend to make a statement on pr 11 once we pass the elections, chairman. of. >> fair enough. >> some of my colleagues will question some of the very specific assumptions.
has the operation in libya and the financial requirement actually any impact on the defense planning assumptions? >> no. as i say, what happens in libya in terms of the assets that we have devoted to it come within our planning assumptions that we made in the sdsr. that we have a long commitment in afghteghanistanafghanistan, e to carry out a small concurrent mission at the same time in libya. it is within when we expected that we might at some point be asked to do. >> it's still within the sustainable criterias outlined in the strategic country?
>> we believe it is sustainable, and we believe that we will have not only the military but political will to carry this through to ensure that the u.n. resolution is fulfilled. >> without opening the sccr? >> there are those that talk about reopening the sdsr, but it's actually the csr. if people mean there should be more defense spending they should say so. if we have a reopening of the sdsr within the same financial envelope with the same policy assumptions in the same real world, given the ex partes we have, we're likely to come to the same conclusions. if people believe we should be spending more, that's a perfectly acceptable argument to make, but they have to say which budgets they want to cut or continue the insane habit of borrowing money at the pace we were doing before. it's a perfectly legitimate
argument to make, but the two should not be conflated. to say we should we open the sdsr but without change to the financial expenditure, i would likely suggest to the committee might be a futile exercise. >> at the risk of being dumb, we're saying how long it takes, we have the money, it doesn't require the opening, we can meet it. is that what you're saying? >> we are sending i hope a clear signal to this committee to the regime in libya that we intend to fulfill our obligations under the u.n. resolution and we will do what it takes along with our allies to carry out our mission. >> can i just be clear? i understood what was being said about the costs that are current. the current contribution we are making to this particular activity, should it sustain itself over a six month period at the current rate of spend is
likely to amount to a billion pounds. >> i'm not able to give the committee figures on that. we will have discussions with the treasury. as i pointed out earlier, the chancellor gave the promise that extra costs of this mission would be met from the reserve. >> right. thank you. >> learning valuable lessons from the current air operations, both for the ongoing libyan events and also for contingency planning. my question perhaps elsewhere in the region or other parts of the world. have any of these lessons caused you to regret or reconsider the scrapping of the hairiers and the carrier based capability of illustrious. >> no, tornado gives us capability that carrier cannot.
in addition to the pave way for laser or gps bonds that both hairier and tornado can carry, tornado gives us the standoff, deep penetration of storm shadow and the brimstone missile which is a low collateral weapon for use in urban areas such as misrata. in addition, tornado has a gun, which carrier did not. tornado has longer rates than hairier. tornado has a two man crew which helps with better mission control from the air and if i just may remind the committee of the logistics, legacy, there were not enough hairier to do afghanistan and what we've been asked to do in libya had we taken the alternative decision and kept hairier but not tornado. if ms. docherty is asking had we had another 3 billion pounds
would we like to have kept more aircraft, the answer is yes. but we're trig to deal with the government's primary objective of a $158 billion deficit. >> i won't get drawn into this, but you mentioned range and logistics, you probably won't correct me if i was to suggest that we're currently running at least one of our aircraft from norfolk rather than from italy. do you not accept what some commentators have made, that if you had illustrious in the mediterranean, we would not have to have a 2, 3,000 mile refueling change. >> the question is capability. we wanted to have. the ability with storm shadow to achieve the military effect that it does.
the ability with brimstone as i've said, a very flexible, precise look at collateral weapon which fits very neatly with our wish, our stated desire to minimize civilian casualties are not options available to us had we had that. it is tempting, i know, for those who want the decision to have been something else, to say that, well, this is all about the money. primarily, this is about the capabilities. the general might want to say something about exactly why this has been beneficial to us. >> i think the fact is, first of all, the italian nation have been generous in providing a huge range of airfields to operate from. i think in many ways, the mounting of this operation from italy, where the command and control is also based, is a very effective way of delivering this campaign. >> can i clarify? are you therefore denying that
you're currently flying out of marin? >> some conditions were flown from morrow. >> there are no tomatoes flying from marrow, they are all now in italy, is that correct? that's a big misassumption people have been making? >> they certainly were flown directly out of morrow, but no longer. >> on the issue of tornados themselves, secretary of state, i wonder if you would think that now might be a good time to pause, to use the phrase, on whether or not we should be cutting the number of tornados in raf bases given this operation, tornadoes giving tha operation and potential operations elsewhere? >> well, of course, the way this is likely to come to fruition
some time in the summer and i imagine the committee will want to ask a lot of questions about that, of course, the decision to reduce the tornado squad runs is not part of the sdsr. that was part of the previous government's planning. so it was a decision of which ones to get rid of was left to the incoming government with the decision having already been made by the previous government. so it's not part of the stsr and to reopen the csr as well as other elements. but there has been as far as i can tell and obviously we listen to the military advice, there is no operational restriction on this assumptions we're making for numbers at the present time. >> my final question, mr. chairman, how do you ask
either/or royal navy and the royal air force to work out what would be involved in spinning back up the capability either more tornadoes or bringing tornadoes back up to their previous level or bringing back all the carrier's striking ability and have you asked them what is the point of no return for making either of those decisions? >> >> once the armed forces have provided us with specific capabilities that would not have been provided by harrier. and that is, i remember the very first time i came before this committee, i said we'd have to make decisions, hard headed ones on the basis of the capabilities required and not sentiment. i'm afraid this is one of those. >> have you asked them what is the point of no return for those capabilities? >> we've made our decision that
we were going to retire harrier. since that, we've had the experience of in libya being fulfilled by the tornado and, of course, its fantastic pilots in connection with typhoon. there is no need to reconsideration our decision. >> any more? >> -- in libya having a negative impact on any of you our other operations, in particular operations in afghanistan? >> no. .. is afghanistan. that is what they do above all else. and in the decisions that the department has ascertained in looking at ha we had available
for libya, at looking at what we might require in terms of support, which, of course, isn't what people necessarily see. they see the fast jets and the frontline capabilities. we were always very careful that nothing that we would offer or commit to libya would interfere with our main effort in afghanistan. >> absolutely. now, the facts are that we are >> what is a the potential impact on personnel and those who are extended residence? >> there's little impact which is going very, very well. we have not had an impact on afghanistan through what's happened in libya, and as i made
clear, we always assume we would be able to carry out a large enduring mission like afghanistan with an intervention like libya as well as a smaller one of the that's what the plans were and so far have been able to achieve thanks to the incredible commitment of the people in the armed forces. >> what has been the actual impact and leaves canceled? there's no changes to leave or -- >> i'm aware, and i'm scwiet sure if that was the case, it would have been rapidly brought to my attention. >> i'm saying on this from constituents, i think it would be quite helpful to say if you
could look into that, i just think it's important if we are going to do things like libya that we understand what the commitment is. >> i'd be very happy to look at any specific cases that are being sorted to see whether that is in fact happening because the end is that we should be able to in afghanistan, and we have that without the obligations and have significant impact. >> how is that to be monitored? it's evidence that there's an impact that the operations have on the forces and how does that work? >> we have to be specific and precise, but i think that harmony rules i think is what you were getting to.
individually, some of them may have been broken for all sorts of reasons. if you're talking about afghanistan and libya, i cannot site a -- cite a specific example that supports your thesis. >> we'll be happy to look at any individual cases. there could be elements we have not been made aware of. >> i have a question, secretary because we know you have to go. the national security counsel, how has this been operating in relation to all of this and in relation to the decision to support the no-fly zone and the think the nfc operateded well, increasingly well as well as the national security counsel itself, that's been the subcommittee, the nfcl that met
on a very regular basis and the naclo for officials that meet on an even more regular basis, and i'm sure cbs was here and can speak for him to that the flow of information that comes to us so maybe letting it through, but that's a new one. the flow of information that comes to us to help us understand what is happening on the ground and the decisions that we both have to take come to the -- the process now i think is getting into a rhythm where the meetings are in predictable time scales, and i think that's the nac has adapted quickly to what has been, let's face it, the challenge. >> do you have the impression that the nsc is on top of and
overall strategy for the whole of the region in case this continues a long time? >> that -- they have looked at the region as a whole. it would be untrue, chairman, to say that any policymaker in the western world has been on top of the speed at which events have happened in the middle east and north africa. none of the experts that i've been able to talk to predicted the speed of what happened in libya or syria. the talks we had yesterday estimate the speed of change of events is such that everybody is having to assess and reassess as we go on what the impacts are
and reenforce security in the region and what it means to be alluded to in this session and also what it means for our allied interests abroad, and i think if there's one thing politicians would be right to have in view of the speed of events, it's humility, but we are not as always quite as able to predict what happens next as policy would like. >> indeed so, so we have to be prepared with a defense capability that is strong and always available. secretary of state, thank you very much indeed to all three of you for coming to give evidence to us today. my own personal assessment is that you fulfilled your mission in presenting a firm resolve to continue with this.
our mission to gain clarity of exactly where we are going, i don't think we have fulfilled quite successfully as i think you fulfilled yours, but no doubt, there's opportunities to do that during parliamentary over the next few weeks. >> [inaudible] >> order, order. [inaudible conversations] >> this year's student cam competition asked students from across the country to consider washington, d.c. through their lens. here is this year's grand prize winning video on congressional compromise entighted "the great compromise." >> we cannot continue down this road. the senate is build on compromise. >> the nature rests on the art of compromise.
>> this is what our founding fathers did, they compromised. ♪ >> we need a wakeup call. sent 19, 2010, on this day my family an i departed on a trip to washington, d.c.. on this trip, i hope to learn more about the history of our nation and our nation's capitol and the current state of our nation. today, washington, d.c. is the center of one of the largest metro metropolitan areas in the country and home to the nation's capitol and home to 174 embassies, monuments, and museums and has a strong economy, but it took much for washington, d.c. to get where we are today. i interviewed dr. kenneth born,
coeditor of the first project in the university and author of the creation of washington, d.c. for more afghanistan on the capitol city. >> can you imagine that the united states congress met in the capitol building of a state? >> this all changed in june 1783. >> when revolutionary war soldiers had not been paid gathered to protest -- >> it was aimed at the state, and not the congress. it was held in the state building. they created a special community to deal with this led by alexander hamilton. >> he was a founding father and wartime hero. >> he believed that if the state of pennsylvania paid the federal government's debt, they would lose power. >> he said you have to call an emergency session of congress and get them into this pennsylvania state house before
the soldiers get there where we're going to lose all kinds of jurisdiction and power. >> the emergency session was called and the congressmen entered the building to use the situation to their advantage. >> they could argue that the demonstration was against congress and that the federal government's dignities were insulted. >> that night, they called a second emergency session. >> they agreed if pennsylvania did not call up the state militia, congress would leave philadelphia, and that was a big threat. >> it came against the president of the executive counsel of pennsylvania. >> he said i'm not going to call up the pennsylvania militia. do you think the men of pennsylvania are going to take up arms against the very army that won us independence? >> congress was forced to adjourn and we convene in new jersey. >> now congress needed to find a new permanent capitol.
>> it took many years as to where to put the capitol. >> some wanted new york, others philadelphia. >> of course, it was a sectional dispute. the north wanted the capitol in the north, and the south in the south. >> the union could not survive without compromise. >> finally, they allowed the city to be placed in the banks of the play -- patomic. >> this is more advantaged that met the eye, but it was not the only decision to be made, so a committee was created to see how large the federal committee should be and how much jurisdiction was needed over it. >> the committee consistented of people who wanted to power the federal government. >> like hamilton didn't want philadelphia to happen again. >> they concluded there was a need for federal.com under federal control. >> the state's committee report made exclusive jurisdiction nonsense. >> however, at the constitutional convention, a
section passed giving congress exclusive jurisdiction over the capitol city, but congress would exploit the powers voting in the capitol city and it was a heated issue. in a speech to a general assembly, john davis spoke about what happened next. >> the political parties couldn't come to an agreement. imagine that. >> federalists wanted strong control of the city and antifederalists wanted limited control. >> with jefferson and the republicans taking control of the presidency in congress, a pervasive atmosphere of crisis propelled the federalists into action. they passed a stripped down version of the bill. >> that sated the citizens of the district were no longer considered citizens of maryland or virginia leaving them without congressional representation. >> there's no evidence the founding fathers who just put their lines on the line to forge a representative government then decided the only way to secure the government was to deny representation to their fellow citizens. >> this was an unintended consequence of not working with
the antifederalists to come up with the best solution and fully examine the issue, and today -- >> we're in the exact same position of the federal government in the united states as the american colonists and here's a famous taxation without representation. >> despite the issues and the growing debt after the civil war, washington, d.c. is a symbol of the strength of the federal government housing most of its departments and agencies. >> national archives preserves the nation's important documents including the u.s. constitution. >> but the constitution itself wasn't created without many conflicts of its own. may 29, 1787, on this day william randolph introduced the virginia plan for the institution. he spoke about the plan and the events that followed the introduction. >> both houses of congress would be apportioned by a population
and favors the larger states. >> the smaller states felt threatened by the plan. >> however, the delegates rejected the new jersey plan. >> but the small states had enough votes. >> the convention split 5-5. >> it was in a deadlock. >> the delegates appointed a special committee. >> the compromise determined how the legislative branches run today. >> a compromise apportioned the house population and gave the states equality in the senate. >> this successful compromise was known as the great compromise. >> the great compromise is one of the more moe mentous events in the country. >> this happied create the government of checks and balances that we have today. today we have a political climate that like the founding fathers with many opposing viewpoint. >> it is em per tiff they work
together to find the compromise. >> people need to compromise. >> compromise. >> compromise. >> the legislation is the art of compromise. >> compromise is not always the best solution. imagine what may have happened in abraham lincoln compromised the south before the civil war. we must find the proper balance between compromising and standing firm and how much to compromise like the bill that created taxation without representation in washington, d.c. so passed legislation without examining the issues, arguments, and solutions and oftentimes creates unforeseen consequences. compromise is needed in legislature and oftentimes it creates the best solution. perhaps it's time for another great compromise. >> go to studentcam.org to watch all the winning videos and continue the conversation about today's documentary on our facebook and twitter pages. >> coming up next on c-span2, on
>> coming up next, book tv presents "after words," an hour long program where we invite guest hosts to interview authors. best selling author susan jacoby tackles the myth of old age in her book, "never say day," and she claims the american culture deludes the american population to believe 90 is the new 50 and discusses growing older and aarp with editor sylvia smith. ♪ >> host: susan jacoby, welcome, the author of a new
book "never say die: the myths of marketing the new old age." what is the myth of the new old age? >> guest: the myth of the new old age is that we are all -- and by we i really mean people who are not old now, the aging boomers, people in their 50s and early 60s now and in their 40s that all old age is lived in a way that's totally different in the way in which old age was lived in the past, that we are going to all be sky diving, i like to think about that. >> host: like the former president? >> guest: that we are simply going to get older, but not actually old. >> host: uh-huh. why do you think the culture invested in sugar coating old age? >> guest: well, it's very interesting. when i was growing up, all the
oldest boomers in the 1950s, attitudes towards old age were negative in a particular way. it was something that started the man retired and returned home to bother the wife, and her role was to be the grandmother to her grandchildren, and that was the whole idea, not just of old age, but just of anybody who was retired in their 60s. now, i think we've had a great corrective to that which the aarp had a role in in the sense that we now understand that people over 65 can do a lot of things, and that their only role isn't just lying around the house watching tv and looking after the grand kids, but there is a kind of new ageism i think that has taken over which is this. it's great to be old as long as you don't exhibit any of the typical problems of old age, and old age has also been very much
redefined in terms of young old age which sociologists and doctors call people in their 60s and 70s who are basically pretty healthy even if they had all kinds of diseases like cancer and heart disease, and old, old age in the late 80s and 90s of whom so many more boomers will live to that era, the typical problems in old, old age are down played as if 90, well, i decided to write this book when i went to the panel of the world science festival a few years ago called 90 is the new 50. i thought, does anybody believe that? the answer is that there's a lot of people in their 0s, 50s, and 60s who do believe that, so that we -- it's a new kind of more subtle form of ageism in that it's great to be old as long as you don't have the typical problems of people who are really old. >> host: you use the phrase, "old, old," what do you mean by
that? it's a phrase used by doctors and sociologists and it's intended for people in their 80s and 90s. it's a got distinction because people in their 80s and 90s, for them to talk about as though they were the same as people in the 60s is absurd to talk about people in their 60s like they're in their 30s. now, there are people in their 60s that like to think they're in their 30s, but they're deluded. >> host: the two overwhelming problems of old, old age is health worsening over time which is inevitable and the tendency for people getting poorer, and you suggest there's collective action to take in response to that. what's the key points? >> guest: well, health there's not much we can do about, and there's lucky people whose
health doesn't constantly worsen over time, but if we have parents living in their 90s and grandparents as i have know that the typical person has to deal with many more health problems overtime, and this, by the way, the problems of the oldest old has to be looked at as not entirely, but there's a huge women issue because right now the vast majority of people over 85 are women, and everybody gets poorer over time other than warren buffet, he'll be well-fissioned at 90 too, but people, especially women get poorer because there's -- this is true of women today, most of whom didn't work outside their home in their 90s, but it's also going to be true to some degree of boomer women because women have more interrupted work patterns than men do which
reduces the total amount of either pension or social security income over a lifetime so people get poorer as they get older and manufactureover, this is -- moreover, this is connected with worse health because people need services as they get older which need money, much of which our social service programs that the republicans are eager to cut and certain democrats as well, pay for already so that people's needs in terms of the sphans they need if they'd like to go on living independently become greater at a time when their income becomes less. >> host: in fact, you mentioned in the book you had a friend when you told her you were writing a book about aging and old age, she said, oh, you're writing a book about women. >> guest: yeah. >> host: because women live longer and are more problematic. >> guest: right. people in this age group among women in their 90s, social security makes up about 90% of
their income. there's not a lot of money left around by then. i think i would like to say something also that i often forget in interviews. i think that one of the problems here in thinking about this rationallally is we -- rationally is that we live in a society of the idea that people should be able to save enough to finance a 30 year retirement, but there's something wrong with you if you can't do that. this is ridiculous. when the social security act was signed in 1935, the average life expectancy were 62, and people couldn't save enough then, that's why social security was enacted, but no one foresaw a time when right now all the baby boomers who turn 65, in 20 years, they'll be 85, and there's 8.5 million of them and saving enough money for a 30 year retirement on an average
income is different. it's not a matter of moral tern to do if the average family can't save enough to finance a 30 year a tiermt, and there's a question do we want a society in which a 50-year-old parent says to their kid in college, well, i can't help you, i'm putting money aside for long term care. is that a healthy society? i don't think so. >> host: some of the consequences perhaps of growing up and age of medical miracles. i was just a little girl when the polio vaccine came along. there's always been antibiotics, fake hips, fake knees, medical transplants. that's the norm now. people who have taken advantage or not been disadvantaged because they had access to this kind of care, what i think assuming that that is, you know,
a good thing, but you pay sort of -- paint an overall picture in your book that these things have consequences because they prolong life beyond what our social network, our social safety net worth was created to provide. >> guest: well, that's true, but i think they have -- they have other consequences too. in antiby yachtics, people who would have died at pneumonia at 65 don't anymore because there's antiby yachtics, -- antibiotics. my first medical memory is standing in line for the vaccine too. i'm just old enough to remember life in the summer before the salt vaccine in the early 50s when your parents never let you
go out to go swimming because they were so terrified of polio. that was eradicated overnight. because we've grown up amid these medical miracles, we don't realize that some of the things that kill people in old age up evidentbly, alzheimer's disease for example or forms of cancer that hit an old age, or if they don't, their immune system is too weak to overcome them, but these are far more complicated, they will require if they are ever to be cured, they require research at the level which is going on. the more alzheimer's research being done, they assumed when they started it that a disease this common and nearly half of all people over 85 have it -- don't shoot the messager --
>> host: right. >> guest: but these things are not as easy to find an answer to not like anything pole polo was easy, but it's more complex. most of the scientists i've talked to feel that the solution to the things or something that would day alzheimer's, is a common thing, but they are likely to be there for our children and grandchildren and people now in their 50s and 60s to count on this to give them a new old age is really not being realistic. i like to quote my friend who died at 82 of leukemia, and he invented the field of -- and director of national institute of aging and the only rational
one. i interviewed him for the book and said what do you think about the prospects, you know, for a cure for alzheimer's. he said honestly, i'm a scientist, and nobody believes in science more than a scientist, and i'd like nothing better than to wake up tomorrow morning and see in the newspaper there is a cure, but he said realistically the reason we have to invest more now is because it's still a long way away, and furthermore, you can always hope for something like that, but you can't base a strategy for dealing with old age on the assumption that this is going to happen with you and magically wisk it away. that's my view. we can always hope for a medical miracle, but hope is not a plan of action. hope is just hope. >> host: well, i field your chapter on alzheimer's was the most passionate in the book or maybe it was my own experiences
to that, but talk to us how you developed that chapter and the personal experiences that you had that maybe shapedded that chairperson. >> guest: well, alzheimer's is not in my family. my mother and my grandmother lived -- my grandmother was 99 with a ruined body and a sound mind, and i never personally had experience with alzheimer's until my partner who was 15 years older than i did got it, and mercifully he died three years of cancer before the last meme innocents of his -- remnants went, and this experience of caring for someone who has al alzheimer's changed me. i know better. i wrote about science. i know that intelligent educated people get alzheimer's too, but
i had sort of magic thought my way out of it. well, if you're smart and you're engaged with life and you work hard and you do intellectual work and you exercise and eat right, you don't get alzheimer's. all these people who believe that exercise and greens are going to protect them from alzheimer's, those are good things in themselves, the exercise, the greens, and the intellectual work. they are not a magic pill that's going to make you not get alzheimer's, but one of the things about it that's so tragic and when you think that the risk of it doubles in every five year period over 65 and that half of people who are over 85 have dementia of which alzheimer's is the leading cause, my partner, i can remember when he was in the
middle stages of it, when he could do some things, but not others, he turned to me on the cross town buss and said i feel it somewhere inside me is the person i really am, the person i was before, but he said i can't find him. i can't talk to him. if there is ever a definition of what happens in the dying brain of a person with alzheimer's, that is it, and you understand what this means and you also understand how trammingic all of this false hope is, and why i have to say that one of the things that particularly enrages me are these ads for these so-called memory pills. i won't mention the brand names, but you know what they are, helping dad be more like himself, which, by the way, were also found to be basically have no effect at all in the national
institute of health review. one daughter says to the other, helps dad be more like himself. it doesn't show dad taking the pill, walking out of the house, getting lost, and not being found for seven hours. i'll close with one more personal thing. my partner took them, but when he thought things through, he had no faith in them. he took the memory pill one day, and, you know, saying in yiddish something that means basically nothing will help. this is the punch line of a lot of old jewish jokes he told in the days he used to tell jokes, and i think this false idea that there's all sorts of ways right now that we can armer ourselves against this, this is not good for people. it's great to hope you'll never get it, but because you live right things turn out right for you. >> host: are baby boomers particularly susceptible to that
illusion their -- illusion thinking, and if so, what comes first? the leaky pipes, the viagra, all those sorts of things -- >> no, viagra works. that's difference from the memory pills, that works. >> host: okay, the products aimed at the baby boomers to make us think if we take them or use them, you know, i won't change as i become 80 or 85. >> guest: well, i think there's a lot in our history, in our social history, that makes us have faith in the idea much self-transformation that you're the captain of your soul, and i don't for one minute want to denigrate the value of good health habits. these habits, things like exercise and so have been shown to make you healthier while you
are healthy and make you healthier in old age than you probably would have been. they make your life better. they are not an antiaging pill. they are something that is -- it's good for their own sake, but they are not anymore than transdental medication was or all -- we can all remember the self-help movements of the 70s, some good, others weren't, but they don't armor against you something that's inevitable which is getting older and the realities of disease and economic problems that now accompany getting older. there's some things not within our control. we can make the best of what life hands us, and part of that is the genetic hand we'll dealt, but i like to say we're capably of aging successfully until we
aren't. >> host: what do you mean by that, aging successfully? >> guest: aging sceeflly, what i mean by it is making the best of your health at any given point, but what society means by it is not seeming old at all. my mother is now 90, she would have been a prime example of aging four years ago. she did 25 hours of volunteer work a week. if you asked anybody about her, you'd know she was on top of her game, but she has had -- again, like my grandmother, she has a fully functioning brain in a body that let her down and confined to her room in the assisted living facility, so she was capable of aging successfully until some diseases she had had because as you get older, your immune system's ability to fight off things that
when you are 60 and 70, you with live with more easily goes. what i mean by aging successfully is doing everything you can at that moment, but there comes a point that unless there's have fairy tale, i'm going to drop dead at the age of 95 while sky diving. >> host: with no pain -- >> guest: no pain or disability leading up to it, but you don't choose the manner of your own death that way. my mother who is frank and had a living will and health care proxy for years, we don't have to wonder what she wants done. she says the life she lives now is not life. she would have liked to have dropped dead of a heart attack doing her volunteer work, but that's not what happened for her. >> host: what does she think
about your book? >> guest: she likes my book. it's interesting. i've had a huge number of e-mails in response. the older the people like my book. i had a lot of responses from computer savvy people in their 80s, you know, saying you've said what i'd like to say, but i don't dare say, and i find these things interesting. you asked about successful aging. what they mean by they don't dare say them is one of the ways in which you get viewed as a hip older person by younger people is this -- you never complain about your health because nobody in good health wants to hear, an i don't think anybody in good health really understands what it is to get every morning, up every morning and fight to deal with various pains and things like that, that you don't feel the way a 30-year-old or a 50-year-old does when you're 85 even a relatively healthy
85-year-old person. you don't talk about bad health. you -- you don't talk about losses. you don't -- if you're grieving for a partner, a long time partner who died, yes, you are allowed a month or two of tears, but i saw this ridiculous piece in the "new york times" about some social scientist who did a study that basically most people are supposed to get with it after six months and may still grieve for their partner but tears or thinking about the partner all the time or constant feeling of sadness may be a sign of depression or something more. that's another thing. you have to project a positive attitude. frankly, i don't understand anyone after six months after the death of a partner of 30 years is okay and doesn't think about them all the time, but i think that's one of the positive
thinking business is something our society imposes on everybody, but with no group is more coerced by that than the old because if you express sorrow or dissatisfaction when you are 85 with something that a 45-year-old is considered a normal gripe, at 85 is, oh, well, he's just a cranky old geezer and she's a mean old crone. what people express when they are older is put down old age rather than a legitimate response to a loss that anyone would have at any age, just that old people have more of them. >> host: i suspect that old people are reluctant to express those emotions because of another point in the book which is the loneliness factor. when people get old, their partner died so there's not a primary person to love or a
child in the picture, and their social circle has shrunk, so society tells you not to be the grump because that pushes people further away. talk about that loneliness factor. >> guest: that's true and affects the oldest old. this may be true that women do better as widows than men as widowers because women have more friends.. that's true. women relate to women more closely throughout their lives at least now. that may not be true a generation from now, but still the men do. when a woman lives to be really old, into her 90s, then because she is the oldest of the old survivers, she gips to lose -- begins to lose her female friends too. my grandmother who lived to be
99, i talked to a lot about this, and she said to me -- she was a person who always made younger friends throughout her life. if anybody had as good an old age as you can until you can't, she did. she outlived everyone who didn't see her as an old woman, but remembered her as a young and vibrant girl and woman that those people were all gone, and well, of course, you can have friends of all ages and good friends. there's a special thing to friends of your own generation, and for the people who lived the longest, they have to cope not just one loss of a primary person in their life, but a succession of losses as the people who are not as hearty as they are who die off before them. >> host: my father who is 86 lives in the area where he grew up, and his high school class
has a reunion once a year. it's a highlight for him to see people he probably doesn't see year to year, but i think that element of having been children together and reminds them of themselves at that age. >> guest: not even necessarily children, but someone you knew as young adults, all of the people, you know, that my grandmother and grandfather used to do things with and so on, she outlived them all. even a loving child cannot make up for the absence of your contemporaries. >> host: you mention aarp a few times in your book and say the organization will not help the american society have a full picture of the realities of the old old. what's that organization do? it's a big senior organization. >> guest: yes, i do believe that, and i should say i'm not criticizing aarp. i wrote for aarp publications
for years. i'm criticizing myself, but my thinking about age has changed since i was writing for the bulletin and the magazine. i think that one of the things that aarp needs to do is it needs to first of all, stop concentrating -- which i think it does in its publication -- on the 50 and 60 and early 70-somethings and present a full picture of older people as well. if you look at any of the aarp features on people we love, almost all of them will be in their 50s and 60s. i know, that's where the business and boomers are, but there will be one person in their 80s, and this was always the case in aarp publications because articles about people who are really sick and how they cope with it, i think they ought to do more of that, but there's
also downer articles, and it's hard to do them well. the story i told myself in the book, and this was many years ago, but i was asked to do a story about people who after a serious illness had made big changes in their health habits and had greatly improved their lives, and the first person i thought of was a high school classmate who had a form of cancer in her 50s she was supposed to die from, and she didn't. when it became clear she was not going to die, she responded by quitting smoking and losing 50 pounds. they ran a picture of her, she was 56 then. she was so gorgeous. anybody would have recognizedded her as the high school cheer leader she was. i didn't interview anyone over 64 because i couldn't find those stories of people in their 80s.
now, they exist, but by featuring younger people in the publications so constantly and not older people, they suggest that people in their 80s can expect the same results and defy aging in the same way people in their 50s can, and by the way, i think that it's fine that people over 50, i've been a member of the aarp since i was over 50, but people in their 50s comparing them to people in their 80s is also -- is also ridiculous, but i think mostly the aarp publications present in their personal examples the funny side of old age always, and i don't think that -- given that the aarp represents all seniors and has a huge battle on its hands and will for the next ten years to maintain medicare and social security and ways that old people need, that the aarp needs to start featuring more of the worst
problems as well as the best case outcomes. >> host: is there any aspect of popular culture that does in your mind present the accurate view of gritty old age? do we have any tv shows? anything? >> guest: in popular culture? >> host: in popular culture. >> guest: well, of course, you know how few television shows that present older characters and the fact we come back to betty white shows you how few there are. the only person you can think of is betty white, you know, the mostmented talk show -- most wanted talk show guest. this was not about people who were old, it was the young old, even the old series "the golden girls" was completely unrealistic for women and all
they were concerned about was getting another man. it's not realistic about the real problems that real women in their 50s and 60s face, so, no, i don't think there is anything in popular culture because what it likes to look at is the rare old person like betty white who doesn't seem old. they forget, you know, i couldn't move my hips and dance like betty white when i was 30. she's one of those unusual people, but i don't think there's anything in popular culture that accurately reflects the lives of old people because it's a downer, and even not in popular culture, the hbo production, alzheimer's project, the first real tv series to really examine alzheimer's and produced by maria shriver's
father who just died from it and there's a lot wrong with the series because it presented only nice long term care facilities or it was horrifying enough, it did accurately show what people in the last stages of alzheimer's are like, but there was always a caretaker, a home, a woman -- there was nothing in that about the people who have no caretakers in the late stages of alzheimer's. people who are not in a nice nursing home, whose life savings have run out and are in nursing homes in medicaid, and i've done articles on those nursing homes, and they are not nice places. in a way, it shows the worst case individual scenario. there's always a caretaker. there's always a woman who gave up her job in minneapolis to care for her mother. who will care for that woman of the years she's lost care taking? that is a very, very serious issue which is --
>> host: you mean because of her earning power? >> guest: let's just say a woman is willing to quit her job in her 50s to care for her mother, well, that woman needs to be taken care of when she's older and the fact she quit her job, we don't have anything really that provides for long term care in homes even for people in the middle stages of alzheimer's who can do a lot. when my partner was in the middle stages of alzheimer's, and i emphasize he didn't reach the fence because mercy took him before then, but there were a lot of people involved with his care. he had something that i thought was stupid, people who subbed for each other. he had a big network, and for when there couldn't be somebody there, because he reached a point where we couldn't be left unsupervised even though he could still enjoy old movies and
things like that, but he couldn't be trusted not to turn the stove on and burn the house down. when he retired, he took a lot of medical benefits that provided for some home care. we needed that. most people can't afford that, and we are now talking about cutting down when in truth to provide home benefits for families who are willing and able and eager to help care for a person costs so much less than let people's life savings run out and put them in a nursing home. >> host: you make a number of criticisms of medicare program, particularly that system for the home care giver suspect -- isn't covered. talk more about that. >> guest: it's a hard thing to talk about because nobody talks about expanding services, just ways to cut them. in fact, there's a number of things we're going to have to do to reduce end of life care which
only prolongs death. i'll talk about that in a bit, but it is a great criticism of medicare that you can want -- let's say you have a husband at home in the middle stages of alzheimer's, but you cannot care for him 24 hours a day. you have a job yourself, an income you very much need. medicare will not pay for people to come in for eight hours a day, the eight hours you need to work which would be so much cheaper in the long run, but we are a country that doesn't do long run thinking than having people lose their assets and having to put somebody in a nursing home when there's someone willing and eager to provide care at home if only they have some help. >> host: what i've seen is that nursing home costs may be three times as much assisted home care. >> guest: that's just it. there's people who need nursing homes, make no mistake about it, but there's people who could be
at home longer. there's healthy old people who could live independently longer if they could have nursing homes -- if they could have some kind of home care, not necessarily medicare, which our society doesn't pay for unless you have completely exhausted all of your assets. this is going to be an urgent issue as more boomers live to be over 85, and, of course, now there's certainly not going to be discussion of it right now because all they are talking about is about how to cut the cost of medicare. well, now i'll talk about that. i can tell you one thing, one thing that would cut the cost of end of life care, and it's not death panels. it is the thing that out of political cowardness is retreated from, paying for voluntary consultations between older people when they are healthy, it doesn't have to be when they are sick. in fact, it's better if it isn't
talking to their doctors about end of life care. would they like, for instance, there's two things, do everything which means as long as the heart is beating whether you're in a coma or not, and that is what we spend a huge proportion of the medicare budget on the last of life, i think if people were encouraged to discuss this with their doctors, and doctors who scared of death and dying as everyone else need this discussion as much as the patients, encourage them to go home, talk to the people they love, investigate the legal issues. only a third of americans have living wills and fewer have what you also need which is someone legally appointed to make decisions for you if you can't take care of yourself, if only half of the 70% of americans who don't have any end of life care instructions would make those decisions for themselves, it is
incalculateble -- this is not death panels, but people encouraged to think about with 93% of americans wanting to die at home. 20% do. i'll use my mother as an example. she made a living will and appointed my brother and me as her legal representatives 30 years ago, and we are not in doubt about what she wants and rejected all kinds of care already. we don't have to make decisions for her now because she is of sound mind. if not, we'll do what she said. we'd be afraid not to, but the point is she's taken care of. my mother is not going to cost a third of the medicare budget in the last year of her life. she understands and accepts the difference between care that can only prolong her dying and care that could return her to a good quality of life. there's not much of that for her anymore, and she made these
decisions when she was healthy. i'm not saying everyone is as strong minded as my mother, but a lot of people are if they are encouraged to do it. that's a way without having death panels or even talking about assisted suicide, we can encourage people who want to make plans for their own end of life care to do it instead of avoiding the subject and evading it. >> host: if somebodiments to have a living -- if somebody wants a living will, what does that mean? what questions are there to be answered? >> guest: first of all, a living will -- not every state recognizes them. first of all, you have to find out what your state law is about this, and this is something aarp is full of information. if you can't use the internet, call up the appropriate office at aarp, and they tell you what your state law is about this, and even those people who can't use the interpret, which i think more boomers will be able to use the internet, but if you can't,
call up aarp, your local citizen as council, and they will tell you what the state of the law is . if you are not rich, financial issued involved with their regular will, you need a lawyer for that. i understand there's methamphetamine who want to do do-it-yourself wills, but there's centers who aid with that. for a living will, a living will states your washes, you know, saying a living will states for example in new york state that if there is no chance of my returning to recovering to life, being able to speak again, i do not want to be hooked up to ventilators or force fed by tubes. it spells it out explicitly and any legal -- any lawyer will draw up one of those in states
allowed for that, but a living will is not all you need. you must discuss this with whoever and appoint a legal representative to act for you if you cannot act for yourself because many people by the time the issues arise can't act for themselves. your chirp, your spouse, or your friend if you are not married, this will be an issue for boomers because nay are divorced and have smaller families. the assumption -- by the way, the person you appoint may not necessarily be your child. it will be if you don't appoint anyone, and it could be a child who doesn't agree with your ideas about that at all. they need to point legally a representative, and you do need a lawyer to do it, but it doesn't cost a great deal. if you call aarp or a senior organization, they will tell you how to find legal help for this without very much money, but you have to have